REvision 2020: renewable energy in the South West

Developing regional renewable electricity, heat and on-site generation targets

Project duration: July 2004 to June 2005

What is the renewable heat and electricity potential of the South West, and what would be realistic (if challenging) targets for 2010 and 2020?

This is a critical question for regional political bodies like the Government Office for the South West and the South West Regional Assembly which are charged by central government with developing the renewable energy sector in their areas.

To get a clearer idea, CSE was engaged to undertake a project - we called it 'RE:vision 2020' -  to develop regional targets for renewable energy for 2010 and 2020, and to explore the potential for a target for on-site renewable energy generation on all new-build developments.

The project set out to:

  • assess capacity for additional renewable electricity generation in the South West between 2010 and 2020, identifying separate targets for offshore and onshore technologies
  • assess potential heat demand and propose regional heat targets (expressed in megawatts) for 2010 and 2020
  • propose options for percentage renewable energy requirements from on-site generation for new buildings and provide guidance on financial and technical viability
  • propose ‘most desirable’ target scenarios for renewable heat and electricity and percentage requirement for on-site generation, following peer review and based on the overall benefits to the region
  • provide the evidence base necessary to underpin the assumptions within the target scenarios and on-site generation requirement. This should be made available in GIS format, displaying potential opportunities and constraints
  • recommend planning policies for incorporation within the Regional Spatial Strategy to support the achievement of the recommended target scenarios and on-site generation requirement

CSE took the lead on the renewable heat and on-site generation part of the project, and was a member of the core team for the electricity targets.

The approach to this project involves a combination of research and development methods, including:

  • desk-based modelling of technical, economic, market and policy data
  • validation of assumptions with industry and sector experts
  • the development of sets of target scenarios associated with renewable electricity, heat and on-site generation technologies
  • drafting of planning policies
  • consultation with key stakeholders to establish most appropriate scenarios and policies
  • presentation of project findings and recommendations

The desk-based modelling was as follows:

  • assessment of potential demand for renewable heat across the South West region
  • updated resource assessments for each renewable electricity technology, taking the REvision 2010 and Terence O’Rouke/ETSU assessments as the starting point. This will include a reassessment of landscape sensitivity, taking into account the impacts of larger scale wind turbines
  • GIS mapping of key constraints and opportunities affecting renewable heat and on-site generation technologies in new buildings
  • review of technical, economic, market and policy constraints and opportunities for each renewable electricity and heat technology
  • draft planning policies

The final report was completed in June 2005 and proposed a series of four regional targets as follows:

  1. Renewable electricity to 2010: 509-611MWe (onshore), 56MWe (offshore)
  2. Renewable electricity to 2020: 847MWe (onshore), 400MWe (offshore)
  3. Renewable heat to 2010: 105 MWth
  4. Renewable heat to 2020: 503 MWth

The proposed electricity targets will generate approximately 20% of the region’s electricity demand by 2020, assuming energy efficiency levels as per the government’s Energy White Paper.

The report also proposed a 10% renewable on-site generation percentage requirement within large-scale new developments. These targets, along with proposals for accompanying planning policies were subsequently put forward for inclusion to the draft South West Regional Spatial Strategy.

For further information contact:

Martin Holley | 0117 934 1419

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